Felicia Samuel (Committee member) and         Group organiser)  

Hi, I'm Felicia Samuel and my bundle of joy and inspiration next to me is my beautiful boy Soul!! Whilst on maternity leave I found it difficult to find a playgroup that was appropriate for my Deaf son, I was astonished to find that there were hardly  any appropriate groups for deaf children in the Lewisham borough. 

When my maternity leave had finished I went back to work part-time but after one year, decided to give up work to focus more on my son and help develop his communication skills. I had already completed my BSL level 1 and wanted to start my BSL level 2 to make sure I was signing as much as possible with Soul. It was the best decision I have made in a long time. I have now completed my level 2 and level 3 Language Development at Remark!  and will hopefully finish my level 3 NVQ shortly. I have also recently become a CSW (Communication Support Worker). My husband (Kojo) has also completed his BSL level 2 and is currently doing his level 3 Language Development at Frank Barnes our my daughter (Tanayha) has completed introductory to BSL course  and will hopefully start her level 1 soon I have left the hustle and bustle of the city life and the nightmare daily commute and have thrust myself into something I have a real passion for - spending valuable time with my children, continuing with my BSL (British Sign Language) and developing the LDCS.

 Ayaan (Robin) Bulale (Committee member) and Volunteer)  

My name is Robin. Mother to a hearing daughter and godmother to Felicia's two children. I am a volunteer at the LDCS playgroup and I love it! It is amazing to watch and play with the children in an environment that is dedicated to their needs. I also enjoy meeting the parents and learning from them what it is like to be a parent of a D/deaf/hard of hearing child or how it was for them growing up as a  D/deaf child in a predominantly hearing world. 

I am really keen on learning BSL.  I grew up in Sweden so I can finger spell and do a few signs in Swedish SL. I have now completed my BSL level 1 and hope to start my level 2 soonwhich is another reason why I enjoy the playgroup as there is always someone willing teach me a new sign or correct me when I flail my hands about in confusion.  

Brenda Gordon Committee member

I am a parent and my daughter wears a cochlear implant and hearing aid.  Vivienne and I set up the group 6 years ago. Even though we no longer hold a monthly pop in, Vivienne and I still speak to parents over the phone.

   Vivienne McLean

My son Ellis was born profoundly Deaf. He received his first cochlear implant when he was two years and three months and his second when he was eight

He is in year 8 at school and is football mad. When Ellis was younger, another mother (Brenda Gordon) and I set up the LDCS as at that time there were no opportunities in the Lewisham area for parents to meet together, share experiences and knowledge and for our deaf children to meet and play together. We held monthly pop-ins for familes with deaf children and organised outings in the school holidays.

The pre-school group is now run by Felicia Samuel, however, I am still able to provide support and information to parents and families. Going forward I hope to organise outings and activities for older children in the holidays.

I am also chair of the Lewisham Children's Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG) which meets three times a year and is a forum for a wide range or professionals and parents to discuss all aspects of services for deaf children and to seek to influence the delivery and strategic development of those services.